KEYBOARD(5)                Console-setup User's Manual               KEYBOARD(5)

       keyboard - keyboard configuration file

       The keyboard file describes the properties of the keyboard. It is read by
       setupcon(1) in order to configure the keyboard on the console.  In Debian
       systems the default keyboard layout is described in /etc/default/keyboard
       and it is shared between X and the console.

       The specification of the keyboard layout in the keyboard file is based on
       the XKB options XkbModel, XkbLayout, XkbVariant and XkbOptions.
       Unfortunately, there is little documentation how to use them.
       Description of all possible values for these options can be found in the
       file xorg.lst.

       You might want to read “The XKB Configuration Guide” by Kamil Toman and
       Ivan U. Pascal:


       Other possible readings are:


       The complete XKB-specification can be found on


       The file keyboard consists of variable settings in POSIX format:


       Only one assignment is allowed per line.  Comments (starting with '#')
       are also allowed.

       The following variables can be set.

              Specifies the XKB keyboard model name.  Default: pc105 on most

              Specifies the XKB keyboard layout name. This is usually the
              country or language type of the keyboard. Default: us on most

              Specifies the XKB keyboard variant components. These can be used
              to further specify the keyboard layout details. Default: not set.

              Specifies the XKB keyboard option components.  Options usually
              relate to the behavior of the special keys (<Shift>, <Control>,
              <Alt>, <CapsLock>, etc.)  Default: not set.

              Determines the behavior of <BackSpace> and <Delete> keys on the
              console.  Allowed values: bs, del and guess.  In most cases you
              can specify guess here, in which case the current terminal
              settings and the kernel of your operating system will be used to
              determine the correct value.  Value bs specifies VT100-conformant
              behavior: <BackSpace> will generate ^H (ASCII BS) and <Delete>
              will generate ^?  (ASCII DEL).  Value del specifies
              VT220-conformant behavior: <BackSpace> will generate ^?  (ASCII
              DEL) and <Delete> will generate a special function sequence.

       KMAP   Usually this variable will be unset but if you don't want to use a
              XKB layout on the console, you can specify an alternative keymap
              here.  Specify a file that is suitable as input for loadkeys(1) on
              Linux or for kbdcontrol(1) on FreeBSD.

       The standard location of the keyboard file is /etc/default/keyboard.
       Description of all available keyboard models, layouts, variants and
       options is available in /usr/share/X11/xkb/rules/xorg.lst.  In most
       cases, in /usr/share/keymaps/ or /usr/share/syscons/keymaps/ you will
       find several keymaps that can be used with the variable KMAP.

       In Debian systems, changes in /etc/default/keyboard do not become
       immediately visible to X.  You should either reboot the system, or use

           udevadm trigger --subsystem-match=input --action=change

       In order to activate the changes on the console, run setupcon(1).

       When a triple-layout is used on the console, i.e. a layout with three XKB
       groups, then the group toggling happens in the following way: Group1 ->
       Group2 -> Group1 -> Group3.

       On FreeBSD triple- and quadruple-layouts are not supported on the console
       (only the first and the second layout are taken into account).

       The option grp:shifts_toggle is not supported on the console.

       The following configuration will give you the standard US QWERTY layout
       (us).  The key <Menu> will act as a compose key (compose:menu) and
       <CapsLock> will act as third control key (ctrl:nocaps).


       In the following configuration the right <Alt> key (grp:toggle) will
       toggle between US QWERTY layout (us) and Greek (gr) layout.  The option
       grp_led:scroll is ignored on the console but in X in means to use the
       ScrollLock keyboard led as indicator for the current layout (US or


       In the following configuration the <Control>+<Shift> key combination will
       toggle (grp:ctrl_shift_toggle) between French keyboard (fr) without dead
       keys (nodeadkeys) and British (gb) “Dvorak” (dvorak) keyboard.  The right
       <Win> key will be a compose-key (compose:rwin) and the right <Alt> key
       will function as AltGr (lv3:lalt_switch).


       setupcon(1), ckbcomp(1), console-setup(5), loadkeys(1), kbdcontrol(1)

console-setup                      2011-03-17                        KEYBOARD(5)